O'Sullivan's majestic display wounds the Warriors as Demons battle into the cup semi-final

O'Sullivan's majestic display wounds the Warriors as Demons battle into the cup semi-final
UCC Demons' Adrian O'Sullivan drives past Tralee Warriors' Darragh O'Hanlon. Picture: David Keane.

UCC Demons 69 Garvey’s Tralee Warriors 64

UCC DEMONS edged out Garvey’s Tralee Warriors in a highly-charged Pat Duffy Men’s National Cup quarter-final at the Parochial Hall last night thanks to an immense performance from Adrian O’Sullivan.

In a poor spectacle that saw Demons captain Kyle Hosford sent off in the third quarter, the percentage of shots missed on both sides was mind-boggling but O’Sullivan was on song to the tune of 26 points. Crucially, 14 of them came in a dour first half through some glorious moves to the basket. 

That was enough to send the Cork kingpins in the last four against Templeogue in what will be a bumper weekend for Irish basketball on January 5-7 across two Cork venues, Mardyke Arena and Neptune Stadium.

The officiating was debatable throughout, with Kieran Donaghy and Demons player-coach Colin O’Reilly tangling after just 20 seconds in what was certainly a scrappy affair.

UCC Demons' Colin O'Reilly and Tralee Warriors' Kieran Donaghy square-off. Picture: David Keane.
UCC Demons' Colin O'Reilly and Tralee Warriors' Kieran Donaghy square-off. Picture: David Keane.

 The loss of Hosford, for a second technical foul, could have cost the hosts at a packed Parochial Hall, where for the most part the atmosphere was better than the basketball. 

Hosford was ejected for a second technical foul. You can have sympathy for him, as he was exchanging verbals wih Donaghy for the second, but he needs to be careful when playing on the edge. This is not a criticism of the player who I admire greatly but lucky for him, fellow point guard Adrian O’Sullivan produced a season-best.

UCC Demons' Adrian O'Sullivan finishes a lay-up. Picture: David Keane.
UCC Demons' Adrian O'Sullivan finishes a lay-up. Picture: David Keane.

The opening quarter was a comedy of errors with both sides missing numerous shots from all angles, with Trae Pemberton and O'Sullivan the best on show. A late Jack O’Mahony free throw along with O'Sullivan's heroics helped left Demons 28-27 down at the interval. 

They got the perfect start to the third quarter with baskets from Lehmon Colbert and Hosford, but Pemberton came alive with a basket and consecutive three-pointers which saw the Kerry outfit surge into a nine-point lead.

UCC Demons' Kyle Hosford get past Tralee Warriors' Trae Pemberton. Picture: David Keane.
UCC Demons' Kyle Hosford get past Tralee Warriors' Trae Pemberton. Picture: David Keane.

Hosford was then ejected, but Carleton Cuffe replaced him and made a huge contribution through his size and tenacity. Warriors still commanded a five-point lead, 48-43, entering the final quarter but star of the night O’Sullivan nailed a stunning three-pointer, followed by a similar basket from O’Mahony.

The game certainly hung in the balance but the Warriors ran out of steam and ideas how to put the ball in the basket. Demons’ Irish players stayed the distance and American Colbert was heavy-legged but he made some vital contributions on the defensive end.

UCC Demons' Lehmon Colbert scores under pressure from Tralee Warriors' Goran Pantovic. Picture: David Keane.
UCC Demons' Lehmon Colbert scores under pressure from Tralee Warriors' Goran Pantovic. Picture: David Keane.

The sound of the final buzzer was greeted with elation by Demons players and fans but they will need a huge improvement going forward if they are to make a serious bid for the title.

Top scorers for UCC Demons: A O’Sullivan 26, L Colbert 15, D Bucan 10.

Garvey’s Tralee Warriors: T Pemberton 15, D O’Hanlon 10, K Donaghy 9.

More in this section

Sponsored Content